It’s the rare HVAC tech who does a genuinely good job, leaving no loose ends behind. It’s multi-disciplinary work, after all, and finding a crew experienced in every skill involved can be a challenge. A competent HVAC worker needs skills in the testing and judging of a building, its heat retention ability and the efficiency of its ducts, for instance. This would be in addition to expertise in the service and installation of the furnace itself. Once a system is installed or serviced, the technician also needs to work on comfort issues, noise issues and safety issues.
Mistakes are possible everywhere
Some furnace installers will think about making sure there is enough heat, but neglect to consider ventilation and air circulation. Others will over specify ventilation systems. This can end up drawing carbon monoxide from the furnace, and into the house. Improperly installed ducts can be noisy, or can cause water leakage.
One of the worst kinds of HVAC technician mistakes involves not the installation itself, but everything else around it. With the heavy equipment, tools and fluids involved in such work, it’s easy to cause scour marks in the floors, dings in doors and destroyed flowerbeds in the garden if one is even a little careless.
The answer is a guarantee
It’s easy to tell yourself that you simply need to look for a guarantee. As you probably know, though, a guarantee is only as good as the company that stands behind it. It isn’t hard to find large corporations that act stingy when it comes to honoring guarantees. What assurance do you have that a small HVAC company will keep its word just because it declares 100% satisfaction guaranteed! on its website?
The answer is a guarantee that’s spelled out
While plenty of HVAC service and installation companies will offer every assurance of their pride in their work, few will delve into specifics. They’ll stop short of talking about what exactly they will or won’t cover with their guarantees. They won’t go in too deep because a clearly stated guarantee is legally enforceable.
One of the best ways of telling a competent HVAC apart, then, is to look for a clearly worded guarantee.
Here’s what you look for:
Do they promise to replace anything in your home that their workers end up damaging (only insured techs are capable of offering such guarantees)? If your furnace’s heat exchanger fails within a few years, will they replace it (the best ones offer 10 years)? What kind of cash penalty are they willing to pay out in the event of equipment failure ($500 isn’t uncommon)?
Clear words, actions, situations and monetary amounts ensure a good guarantee. If you see such a statement on the company’s website, you want to save the company’s phone number. If not, you should keep looking.